For example, I would like to ask a question which idea is first, electric car or diesel car. For this let us explore the literature from the 1900's to the present. This information is collected as ngram data.
We can work with this information with the help of ngram viewer. Let us see,
Car which is related to diesel
search term car =>diesel
As expected Diesel engine was invented in 1890, but took off commercially as a blockbuster in 1940 at first.
Car and electric
search term car => electric
There was a hype around electric vehicles in the 1900 to 1920 but diesel engine became a true practicality for the next century from 1920.